Now, Again, But With Feeling … January 19, 2015

Empathy is the ability to experience, or know, what someone else is experiencing. It is thought to be a product of neurons within the brain called “mirror-neurons”. People commonly experience this phenomenon when they yawn in response to someone else’s yawn.

Some people are more empathetic than others. Some seem to have a total lack of this ability.

It is detrimental to have too much empathetic ability. The reverse, too little, is also detrimental. Optimally it would be best to have a moderate amount and be able to control the level.

Sometimes to do what is right for the many, empathy needs to be suppressed for the few. To be fair, sometimes it is necessary to have deeper empathy for the few than is usually expressed, as in the poor, the deprived.

Empathy is a part of a normal human’s mental bearings and cannot be totally dismissed, though sometimes, to do the right thing it must either be suppressed or enhanced depending upon the situation. You might want to help some poor street person, but you do not want to give them your whole salary as then your family will starve.

I think it takes a severe lack of empathy for your fellow man to be a complete capitalist. To be socialists would require that everyone possessed maximum empathy for everyone else. Only a combination of capitalism and socialism would accommodate the average level of empathy found in human beings. This is the only reason the United States survived as a nation after the depression years. If we went to a pure capitalist system as desired by the conservative rich the nation would soon crash. If we became total socialists there would still be people who would be greedy and eventually destroy the nation. Capitalism with a dash of socialism seems to be more stable.


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